The Wharf at Orange Beach has reached total occupancy of 98% in 2021, up from 93% a year ago.
New tenants that have recently joined the development include Local Life OBA, Cool Shots Selfie Museum, HUK Performance Fishing Apparel, Southern Athletica, Poppy’s Boutique, Maho Shades, MA Beauty Lounge, Gulf Coast Athletics, Compass Media, Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and The Wharf Welcome Center, The Spice & Tea Exchange, Murder Point Oysters, The Coastal Leaders Property Group, Coco LOUIE, Joanna A Boutique, Claremont Property Co. and Wise Living Real Estate. Several of these establishments are locally owned.
“We are always looking for ways to better serve and meet the needs of both visitors and locals, and each of these new businesses brings something unique to our offerings,” said Kristen Hammack, management team leader at The Wharf.
In addition, Tom Thumb has acquired and broken ground on 3.94 acres of land at the intersection of Canal Road and Wharf Parkway East for a convenience store and gas station. A 127,000-square-foot storage facility is going in directly behind the Tom Thumb location. Jeff Barnes, of Stirling Properties, served as the leasing agent on these two new tenants.
“Despite the numerous struggles over the last year, the significance of this record-breaking occupancy for The Wharf truly demonstrates the resiliency of the community and the tenacity of locally owned businesses, as well as the tremendous efforts of the entire team at The Wharf,” said Barnes.
In March, Shades Sunglasses and Casual Apparel, owned by Joe and Mary Jernigan, had its highest-ever, single-day record in sales across all of its stores at The Wharf. The Jernigans also own HUK Performance Fishing Apparel and Coco LOUIE.
“Because of the expected growth at The Wharf, we decided to open up two additional stores this year, and both businesses have already exceeded projected business model expectations,” said Joe Jernigan, who added that Shades at The Wharf is on track to have its best year ever since its inception in 2004.
With this growth, The Wharf has also made some infrastructure and general property updates, including an upgrade to its nightly light show, SPECTRA Laser Light Experience. Recent upgrades also have been made to The Wharf Amphitheater, which is kicking off its C Spire Summer Concert Series in late April.